Early history

A historical account of the early history of the Children of God, some of the pioneers and leaders of the Jesus Revolution. The material was drawn from personal letters, tapes, Colony logs, the press, and, the MO Letters. (Produced by the MO Education Department, 1977)

Early History

“Kids, I’ve been laid off my job. Why don’t we just pile into the cruiser [a Dodge motor home] and hit the road witnessing for the summer?” The unanimous answer to that question put forth one night in April 1966, was, “That’s great, Dad. Let’s do it!”

“Dad” was Moses David [David Brandt Berg, 1919–1994 ], and he had just lost his job of 12 years in radio and television work, putting the Gospel on the air throughout the nation. Now at 47, he was nearly broke and wondering what to do for the Lord.

After a lifetime of service spent in Christian work, receiving what was undoubtedly a great heritage of faith and training from his parents, not to mention the many signs from God in which the Lord promised that He was going to use him in some great way, he was now into middle age with no great work behind him, none in the foreseeable future, and no visible results of many fruits in his life, other than his own four children. All his opportunities for doing something great for the Lord seemingly behind him, he was now going out like some kind of suitcase missionary, as he had done when his children were small; it was like starting all over again.

But there was really nothing else he could do. After all, Jesus’ own commandment to all Christians had been, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Even if there was no great opportunity of obeying that explicit commandment other than this humble service—going out by faith without any organizational backing, just in obedience and faith—he had to do it. He had no other choice, because Jesus had said, “Go ye!”—and it was this humble step of obedience that formed the Teens for Christ, from which sprang the Children of God, part of the worldwide Jesus Revolution!

At the time, though, it didn’t seem like such a big move—just another step in a long walk of faith, a walk that began in his childhood, living the life of a Gospel gypsy, travelling and camping out with his parents as they labored in evangelistic work that took them all over the United States and Canada.

His own family heritage of pilgrim-living went back to the three German/Jewish Brandt brothers, Adam, Isaac, and Jacob and their families, who had accepted Jesus as their Messiah, and as a result left Germany for America in 1745. Their descendants included David’s grandfather, Dr. John Lincoln Brandt. Converted as a young actor, Dr. John went from circuit riding in the hills of Virginia to world travelling, authoring 16 books, eventually taking the presidency of Virginia College, and becoming a multi-millionaire in the process.

As a leader of the Disciples of Christ movement, now known as the Christian Church, he built and pastored exactly 50 churches in his lifetime. His moving sermons were heard around the world. Thousands believed and were saved, and at least 400 young men and women went into the ministry as a result of his work with them.